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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 366 - New Year's Eve with The Boss

Darkness On The Edge of Town Tour

(Soundboard Recording ends at Rosalita, the rest is an audience recording and Quarter To Three fades before the end)

The River Tour 1980
01. "Intro"
02. Night
03. Prove It All Night
04. Spirit In The Night
05. Darkness On The Edge Of Town
06. Independence Day
07. Who'll Stop The Rain
08. This Land Is Your Land
09. The Promised Land
10. Out In The Street
11. Racing In The Street
12. "Piano Intro"
13. The River
14. Badlands
15. Thunder Road
16. "Intro"
17. Cadillac Ranch
18. Sherry Darling
19. Hungry Heart
20. Merry Christmas Baby
21. Fire
22. Candy's Room
23. Because The Night
24. 4th Of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
25. Rendezvous
26. Fade Away
27. The Price You Pay
28. Wreck On The Highway
29. Two Hearts
30. Ramrod
31. You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)
32. Held Up Without A Gun
33. In The Midnight Hour
34. Auld Lang Syne
35. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
36. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
37. Jungleland
38. Born To Run
39. Devil With A Blue Dress
40. Good Golly Miss Molly
41. C.C. Rider
42. Jenny Take A Ride
43. I Hear A Train / Devil With A Blue Dress (Reprise)
44. Twist And Shout
45. Raise Your Hand

New Year's Eve. Wow! We are now into the final day of the year and despite the many sad losses in the world of music it has been another good year for releases from older artists and newer ones also.

Here on Soundtrack4Life I've tried my best to post something at least once a day (and only failed to do so a few times) and the result has been that many albums covering many different spheres of music has been shared and I hope that you have found something here to your liking. I'd like to thank you whatever country you call home for visiting this blog. It is a constant source of wonder that people have been checking in from far away places like South America and parts of Eastern Europe as well. I trust that your musical palate has been whetted as a result of an album heard or a video seen or even a word written. Without people checking in I'd just be talking to myself (and my wife would probably be calling in the men in white coats to take me away for a check up from the neck up!). So a big thank you for taking time in your day to check out what's been posted. 

May God bless you and grant you a New Year with new possibilities, opportunities and joy on the path in which you tread.

One of the things I'll be spotlighting next year will be the 40 Years of Punk and New Wave. This year has seen a lot of events celebrating the 40 Years of Punk and whilst I think that was a good thing to do 1977 was an important year as well because we began to get Singles and Albums from many of the bands who had formed in 1976. I've already been preparing a little for what's come and hopefully there will be some out there who will be appreciative of being reminded of the music that shaped their younger lives.

On top of that no doubt there will be a spotlight on new music that is coming as well as reminding ourselves of great releases from the past.

So, have a good one people and big thanks again for choosing to read my blog among all the other things you are no doubt pursuing.

Today's choice of music is two New Year's Eve shows from Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band, the 1980 show on the original River Tour I had posted last year on The Soundtrack4Life Concert Series but some tracks were withheld from it, this time around it is all there for one of Springsteen's finest shows ever. The 1978 show on The Darkness at the Edge of Town Tour is a gem as well and is probably more known for an incident during the show where a punter tossed a firecracker and it exploded close to the face of Springsteen causing a little damage to the singer but he carried on with the show regardless. It is commonly known as "The Firecracker Show".

Get ready to rock!

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 365 - Good Times! in 2016

With all the really good albums released in 2016 it was quite hard to pick my most favourite one as the choices were quite tough but one album in particular really stood out for me and since its release back in May I have played it at lease once or even twice a week at times.

 Good Times! - The Monkees
Rhino Records
Produced by Adam Schlesinger & Andrew Sandoval
Released 27th May 2016
US Chart #14
UK Chart #29

Good Times! (Deluxe Version with Bonus Tracks)

CD Deluxe Edition
 Good Times!
Track Listing (with songwriters noted)
1. "Good Times" (Harry Nilsson)
2. "You Bring The Summer" (Andy Partridge)
3. "She Makes Me Laugh" (Rivers Cuomo)
4. "Our Own World" (Adam Schlesinger)
5. "Gotta Give It Time" (Jeff Barry/Joey Levine)
6. "Me & Magdalena" (Ben Gibbard)
7. "Whatever's Right" (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
8. "Love To Love" (Neil Diamond)
9. "Little Girl" (Peter Tork)
10. "Birth Of An Accidental Hipster" (Noel Gallagher/Paul Weller)
11. "I Wasn't Born To Follow" (Carole King/Gerry Goffin)
12. "I Know What I Know" (Michael Nesmith)
13. "I Was There (And I'm Told I Had A Good Time)" (Micky Dolenz/Adam Schlesinger
14. Terrifying (Zach Rogue)
15. "Me & Magdalena (Version 2)"  (Ben Gibbard)

In the US the Vinyl Release included a bonus Limited Edition 7". This was only available from Barnes & Noble.

Side 1
Side 2

All tracks including the bonus 7" and tracks featured on the Deluxe Edition of the album are included in the Playlist above.

Today it is the 74th Birthday of Michael Nesmith of The Monkees.  It would also have been the 71st Birthday of Davy Jones of The Monkees (he passed away 29th February 2012).

I know I posted about their Good Times! album way back in May but it is a good time to revisit it I think as I've updated the Playlist to include all tracks from the album as well as the bonus tracks from the Deluxe and Bonus 7" single.

When I was thinking about some of my favourite albums of 2016 one of the best I think was this first studio album in 20 years from The Monkees and released in their 50th Anniversary year! People might wonder why on earth a bunch of blokes in their Seventies are still making music (and still going out on tour as well!). One listen to this album and you can really understand exactly why they are still at it. Their is a real freshness to the sound and a new spring in their step (or shuffle!).

The owners of Rhino Records (John Hughes and Mark Pinkus) were the ones who first floated the idea of a new album from The Monkees to celebrate their 50th Anniversary. Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne was hired to produce the album. The project initially was going to include unreleased songs by a number of the songwriters they used back in the 1960s - Carole King & Gerry Goffin, Neil Diamond, Tommy Boyce, Harry Nilsson and Bobby Hart . The plan was expanded and newer writers like Andy Partridge (XTC), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), Paul Weller/Noel Gallagher and Schlesinger himself ended up contributing freshly written songs.

All four of The Monkees are represented on the album including a long lost vocal from Davy Jones.

Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith (coming out of semi-retirement) also have contributed a song each. Most of the vocals are by Micky Dolenz but Peter Tork takes the lead for Little Girl and the Carole King & Gerry Goffin penned I Wasn't Born to Follow, and Michael Nesmith for I Know What I Know. Gibbard's Me and Magdalena has Dolzenz and Nesmith singing together as does Weller & Gallagher's Birth of an Accidental Hipster.

Some tracks on the album have their roots in songs going back to the 1960's: album opener Good Times was originally a 1967 demo from Harry Nilsson that they managed to turn into a duet between Micky Dolenz and Nilsson! There's also Love To Love, which had been a discarded song written by Neil Diamond and is here with an updated backing track but with the original vocal by Davy Jones. Whatever's Right and also Gotta Give It Time use music from original tapes recorded in the 1960's.

The newer songs I think sound absolutely stunning and in some ways whilst it sounded like it could be a bit of a car wreck with such a diverse bunch of writers, they actually made it that the songs could only have been recorded by The Monkees.

Reviews for the album were generally very positive (the negative ones were quite few - The Evening Standard and The Irish Times and The Times gave it a bit of mixed review). A 4 out of 5 review by The Independent, who declared that Good Times! was "probably The Monkees' best album, after their hits compilation." The New York Times concluded their review  "Fifty years later, the Monkees are still endearing", while Record Collector stated "to everyone’s considerable relief and delight, they’ve pulled it off. They really have," and gave the album four stars. Rob Sheffield, writing for Rolling Stone said, "Monkees freaks have waited far too long for this album. But it was worth it." Barry Divola in the Australian edition of Rolling Stone gave it full marks whilst noting "Producer Adam Schlesinger of Fountains Of Wayne knows a thing or five about classic pop, and although Good Times! is a Frankenstein's monster of something old, something new and something in between, he manages to orchestrate the whole thing into something beyond an embarrassing heritage act." Ultimate Classic Rock declared it "is nothing short of a masterpiece."

Mojo music magazine ranked it #30 in The 50 Best Albums of 2016.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 364 - Leonard Cohen

Songs of Leonard Cohen - Leonard Cohen
Produced by John Simon
Released 27th December 1967
US Chart #83 
UK Chart #13
Dutch Chart #4

Songs With Leonard Cohen
With two Bonus Tracks*

*2007 CD Reissue contained Store Room and Blessed Is The Memory.

Side 1

Side 2
(None are credited on the Album Sleeve)

    Leonard Cohen: vocals, acoustic guitar
    Jimmy Lovelace – drums ("So Long, Marianne")
    Nancy Priddy – vocals ("Suzanne", "So Long, Marianne", "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye")
    Willy Ruff – bass ("So Long, Marianne", "Stories of the Street")
    Chester Crill, Chris Darrow, Solomon Feldthouse, David Lindley – flute, mandolin, Jew's harp, violin, various Middle Eastern instruments ("Master Song", "Winter Lady", "Sisters of Mercy", "So Long, Marianne", "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye", "Stories of the Street", "Teachers")

Single On Songs of Leonard Cohen
A-Side: Suzanne    
B-Side: Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye
US Release January 1968

Did Not Chart in US or Canada

(Dutch PictureSleeve)

A-Side: Suzanne    
So Long, Marianne

UK Release March 1968
French Release May 1968 #3
Dutch Release April 1969 #28
On 21st October 2016 Leonard Cohen released what turned out to be his final album, You Want It Darker, at aged 82 and quite ill it is a remarkable piece of art. A couple of weeks later on 7th November 2016 Cohen passed out of this world leaving to us a fascinating legacy of music and poetry.

Today's choice we rewind back the years to the very start of his musical journey. By 1966 he was already a published Poet and Novelist but as he said somewhere he was discouraged by the lack of financial success as a writer and moved from Canada to the USA in the hopes of becoming a Songwriter and Musician. The plan had been to go to Nashville to become a Country Singer (I must admit I cannot even get my head around the picture that conjours up!) but instead he got caught up in the Folk scene of New York City.

He got a break when Judy Collins released his song Suzanne (Cohen himself at first didn't actually think it was much of a song such were his levels of confidence in his abilities) on her November 1966 album In My Life. This brought him to the attention of John Hammond at Columbia Records.

Hammond had intended to produce Leonard Cohen's Debut album but had became ill at the time and so John Simon took charge and created a few disagreements between Producer and Artist. Where Cohen had wanted a more sparse sounding record, Simon felt the songs should be bolstered with Strings and Horns (there were even drums despite Cohen insisting there be no durms!). Whilst some things were changed in the mixing by Cohen, there were many things he couldn't change.

The album didn't fare well in the USA or even his homeland of Canada but in Europe it was a very different story. In the UK the album would spend almost a year and a half on the chart peaking at #13. In Holland it peaked at #4. A release of the single Suzanne went unnoticed in the USA but again Europe it was a bit of smash finding its highest placing of #3 in France.

The album received mixed reviews at the time of its release, with Arthur Schmidt of Rolling Stone writing, "There are three brilliant songs, one good one, three qualified bummers, and three flaming shits." Reviewers have been much kinder to it since its release. Tim Nelson of BBC Music called the collection "the absolute must-have classic."

"Stranger Song", "Sisters of Mercy", and "Winter Lady" were included on the soundtrack of Robert Altman's 1971 film McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

The album does contain a number of what would be classed as Essential Leonard Cohen Songs: "Suzanne", "Master Song", "Stranger Song", "So Long, Marriane" and "Sisters of Mercy".

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 363 - Dion (#2)

Déjà Nu - Dion
Ace Records (UK) / Collectables (US)
Released 2000
Déjà Nu (US Version)

1. Shu Bop (The Lost Track)
2. Hug My Radiator
3. In New York City
4. Ride With You
5. Book Of Dreams (Bruce Springsteen)
6. If You Wanna Rock & Roll
7. Makin' My Heart Go Boom
8. You Move Me
9. Every Day (That I'm With You)
10. Hey Suzy
11. I Can Laugh At It Now
12. If I Should Fall Behind (Bruce Springsteen)*

* Was not included on the UK Release

New Masters - Dion
Released 2003

 1. Behind Susan's Eyes*
2. Ruby Baby
3. Lovers Who Wander
4. Blue Suede Shoes**
5. A Teenager In Love
6. I Wonder Why
7. Stand By Me**
8. Where Or When
9. Love Came To Me
10. Runaway**
11. Drip Drop
12. Rockin' Pneumonia And Boogie-Woogie Flu**/I Wanna Get Close To You
13. Donna The Prima Donna
14. Blue Monday**
15. Runaround Sue
16. The Wanderer
17. Abraham, Martin And John (Acoustic Version)**
18. Come Heal This Land*

* New Song
** Cover Version
Dion DiMucci had not released a brand new studio album since 1989's Yo Frankie (well, apart from a Previously Unreleased Album called Fire In The Night that was released in Germany and then a Christmas album in 1993 on The Right Stuff label - Rock N' Roll Christmas) so in the year 2000 a brand new album was a source of great expectation. 
Remember, Dion was 61 years old when Déjà Nu was released. From the off the album sounds exactly like what you'd expect a Dion DiMucci album to sound like - Rock and Roll mixed with some Doo Wop with Shu Bop (The Lost Track) and Hug My Radiator. Then there's one of his great odes to New York City and then back to the Rock and Roll with Ride With You (he would later rework the song for his 2016 album New York Is My Home). That's followed by the first of two Bruce Springsteen Covers, Book of Dreams which he pulls off brilliantly I think, though it's If I Should Fall Behind reimagined as a Doo Wop classic that really is the standout of the two. My favourite track besides If I Should Fall Behind, is probably Ever Day (That I'm With You).

The second album I posted above, New Masters, followed three years later and is a wonderful collection of covers and revisiting some of the classic songs from his extensive catalogue. At aged 64 he was still in fine voice and paying tribute to some great Rock and Roll tunes like Blue Seude Shoes, Runaway, Blue Monday and Stand By Me. This would be a theme he would revisit in 2008 with his Heroes: Giants of Early Guitar Rock album.
The versions of some of his classic tunes sees them getting a real overhaul with added verses, brand new instrumentation and transforming them into really fresh performances. 
The addition of the song Come Heal This Land at the end seems very out of place because it's a song written by Worship Leader Robin Mark and whilst a very unsual choice of song it should be remembered that Dion DiMucci is actually quite a spiritual man and so in one sense it's not such a mystery that the song is included. He had previously released Gospel orientated albums (for example Seasons in 1984).
 Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 362 - Nick Medlin & Manufactured Romance

I took the day off from posting yesterday mainly because it was a terribly sad day for me and a number of my friends.

I awoke to the news that George Michael had died (same age as me by the way!) but it was not that news that really saddened me at all (I can't say I was ever a fan but still it's a sad loss) but rather the news of the death of another musician whose band had played a big part in my life many years ago.

Outside of certain circles I could almost guarantee that few have ever heard of Manufactured Romance. I mean they only ever actually released one single back in 1980 on Fresh Records called Time of My Life. An album did finally appear in 2008 when the band reunited after receiving an invite from Rebellion Festival. The album was drawn from studio sessions, demos and live material and was self-produced. There's a playlist below that contains seven of the tracks from that album and some bonus tracks (mainly live material - not always great quality I hasten to add).

They also had a couple of tracks included on an album called Backstage Pass and below I have included that whole album.

Back in 2008 I interviewed Nick and Nina from Manufactured Romance for Soundtrack4Life when I had begun it over on MySpace and reposted the interview on this blog in 2011. If you would like to read the interview you can do so HERE.

(Manufactured Romance)

Bass guitarist Nick Medlin (aged 57) died in the early hours of Christmas Day after a family night out. His death came as a result of an assault upon him, and currently on the Isle of Wight three people have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Nick had played in many other bands after Manufactured Romance. The Vulz were one of his bands, as were The Defamers and back in 2014 he had even played Bass for The Boys  on some live dates and appears in their Punk Rock Girl video.

One of the things that seemed quite clear yesterday reading many of the tributes to him was what a genuine and nice guy he was, a real gentle giant of a man. His care and concern for others stood out as some shared acts of kindness he had performed, not for any sense of glory but because he was a decent human being and that's what human beings do!

In this year of 2016 when so many famous musicians have passed and caused many to be sad for their loss, the death of Nick pains more because we actually knew him. Also many of those passed away as a result of an illness and not in such a violent manner as Nick and that makes us grieve all the harder.

So whilst we feel deep sadness for someone we respected and loved, Nick's family - a wife and two boys - have lost a Husband and a Father. Dani and the boys are much in my thoughts and prayers, and the thoughts of my friends. I hope that their dwelling upon the good things that Nick brought to their lives will be a comfort in some small way during this very dark and difficult time for them all.

There is one thing that many of us would agree on today and that is the world is a poorer place without the presence of Nick Medlin!

If by the way I have used your photo without credit please let me know and I can add your name as a credit.

 Manufactured Romance - Manufactured Romance
Released 2008

01. Chameleon
02. Deja Vu
03. You
04. Time of My Life
05. Easy*
06. Long Distance Love
07. Twist The Day
08. When You Said*
09. Criminal Mind*
10. Would You Like To Play?*
11. Normal Norma (Live) 

Bonus Songs on the Playlist
Miss You
Room To Breathe
Knock On Wood (Live)
Tomorrow (Live)
Nobody I Know (Live)
Younger Years (Live)
Manufactured Romance (Live)
Live at The Dirty Water Club 1st August 2008 Reunion Show:
01 Time of My Life
02 Chameleon
03 Normal Norma

Single on Manufactured Romance

Fresh Records
Produced by Pete Bite
Released 1980

*not on the album but I did include it on the Playlist above

 Backstage Pass - Various Artists
Super Music Record Co.*
Released 1982 (UK)**

* Released inconjunction with Supermusic P.A. Hire that was based in York, England.

**Album was originally released in Portugal in 1980, then the UK in 1982 and then in Poland 1986 and New Zealand (not sure what year)
A1 –Slaughter And The Dogs - Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone?    
A2 –Cockney Rejects - Wanna Be A Star    
A3 –Cyanide - Fireball    
A4 –UK Subs - Emotional Blackmail (Parts 1+2)    
A5 –Manufactured Romance - You    
A6 –Angelic Upstarts - Murder Of Liddle Towers    
A7 –The Exploited - Crashed Out    
A8 –Stiff Little Fingers - Closed Groove    
B1 –Cockney Rejects - Police Car    
B2 –Stiff Little Fingers - Barbed Wire Love    
B3 –Bob De Vries - I'm Me    
B4 –Angelic Upstarts - Police Oppression    
B5 –Manufactured Romance - Long Distance Love    
B6 –Slaughter + The Dogs - I'm Mad    
B7 –Anti-Pasti - No Government    
B8 –Cyanide - Mess I'm In    
B9 –UK Subs - New York State Police

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 360 - Status Quo

 Rick Parfitt OBE
12th October 1948 - 24th December 2016
Aged 68
Guitarist, Songwriter and Vocalist of Status Quo 

I wasn't going to do a post today as it's Christmas Day but in the light of the sad news regarding the passing of Rick Parfitt, legendary guitarist of Status Quo I thought maybe I should at least post a little something. 

Status Quo are not and maybe have never been a band it is considered "cool" to listen to...though I have no idea who made the rule that they weren't! But as I've said previously they were one of the bands I was listening to as a kid and whilst there are a few albums I haven't cared to much for throughout their career there are many that I care a lot for.

I know quite a number of others for whom the passing of Rick Parfitt will be a moment of great distress and sadness. Firstly to his family, then to the band (especially Francis Rossi) and lastly to the legions of fans of the band across the world who have never been ashamed to pick up an "air guitar" and let it rip to a Quo tune of two.

Is there anyone out there who likes to Rock? Is there anyone out there who likes to Roll? Here for your listening pleasure the mighty Status Quo!

 12 Gold Bars - Status Quo
Released March 1980
UK Chart #3

For Some Early History of Status Quo CLICK HERE.

For Some Live Status Quo CLICK HERE

After the holidays are over I'll do a more detailed assessment of Rick Parfitt and the place of Status Quo.

Happy Christmas!

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 359 - A Christmas Gift For You...

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who visited Soundtrack4life over the past year. Hopefully you have found something here that has given you a great listening experience.

Also would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas time. I hope you enjoy today's choice as much as I have.

A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records - Various Artists
Philles Records
Produced by Phil Spector
Released 22nd Nomember 1963
US Chart #13

Side 1

Side 2

1972 Reissue
Apple Records
US Billboard Christmas Albums Sales Chart #6
UK Chart #19*

* It did enter the UK Charts in 1972 but I do not know at what position. #19 was its placing when it re-entered the chart in 1983!

Single from the Album
Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) / Harry And Milt Meet Hal B.
Phillies Records (119)
Produced by Phil Spector
Released December 1963
Did Not Chart

Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) / Winter Wonderland
Phillies Records (X-125)
Produced by Phil Spector
Released November 1964
Did Not Chart


So, for Christmas Eve I thought there can only be one Christmas Album worth playing. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am not a huge fan at all of Christmas music especially when it is played weeks and weeks before the event. But this year I have managed to survive without actually hearing an awful lot of Christmas music, having only really with purpose played Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody and The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl's Fairytale Of New York (and a fine cover of it by Chuck Ragan and Emily Barker that I heard via my friend Rue yesterday) so far this year and so I can say with some sense of delight that I have really enjoyed listening to this classic album again without being worn down by the over abundance of Christmas tunes!

In 2003, the album was voted 142 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys has cited this album as his favorite of all time. Which is quite funny as apparently he had wanted to play piano on Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town but was rejected for his low performing ability!

One of the things I find quite remarkable is that the only single released from the album, Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home), sung by Darlene Love never charted, both times it was released! Amazing and yet it is considered to be one of The Most Iconic Christmas Pop Songs of All Time. In December 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) first on its list of The Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs, noting that "nobody can match Love's emotion and sheer vocal power."

According to Darlene Love the song was originally going to be sung by Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes. Ronnie didn't project the emotion the song required and so Darlene was brought into the studio to record her version and it is now one of her signature songs! You sometimes wonder what the history of the song would have been like if Ronnie Spector had been able to deliver the punch when required! History, and this particular album though will forever read that it is Darlene Love who recoreded it and I don't think anyone would have imagined what would happen to the song afterwards!

Beginning in 1986, and continuing for 29 years, Darlene Love performed the song annually on the final new episode before Christmas of Late Night with David Letterman (NBC 1986-92) and Late Show with David Letterman (CBS 1993–2014), 28 times in all. The exception was 2007, when Love was unable to perform due to the Writers' Strike; a repeat of her 2006 performance was shown instead.

She performed the song with Paul Shaffer and the show's house band (The World's Most Dangerous Band at NBC, the CBS Orchestra at CBS). The band had been augmented over the years by strings and other instruments, as well as a full choir. In 2000, the US Air Force Singing Sergeants were the choir. One of the highlights of the performances was a sax solo by band member Bruce Kapler, who would make his entrance in entertaining ways, including being pulled in on Santa's sleigh, "flying" from the rafters on wires, walking down the steps of the audience risers, and appearing in a giant snow globe. It was known that Love's last appearance on Letterman's show would air on December 19, 2014, as Letterman had announced his retirement from hosting The Late Show. In addition to the publicity and anticipation for this final performance, Love's original version of the song reappeared on the Billboard charts, peaking at No. 21 on the publication's Holiday Digital Songs chart.

Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)
Down through the years on Late Night and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Ten Cover Versions of Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) - and none of them are by Mariah Carey, Little Mix or Michael Bublé!

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

Friday, 23 December 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 358 - Aztec Camera

 The Best of Aztec Camera - Aztec Camera
Warner ESP
Released 1999
UK Chart #36

Notes on Singles
Pillar To Post / Queen's Tatoos
Rough Trade
August 1982

Was also released as a 7" Picture Disc.

A-Side: Oblivious 
B-Side: Orchid Girl
Rough Trade
January 1983
UK Chart #47

Was also released on 12" with Haywire as an extra track on the B-Side.

Was Reissued in October 1983 after they signed to a major label.
A1 Oblivious    
A2 Orchid Girl    
B1 Back On Board    
B2 We Could Send Letters

UK Chart #18

A-Side: Walk Out To Winter
B-Side: Set The Killing Free
Rough Trade
April 1983
UK Chart #64 

The 12" included an extended mix of Walk Out To Winter.

A-Side: All I Need Is Everything
B-Side: Jump
August 1984
UK Chart #36

12" Version
A-Side: All I Need Is Everything (Remix)
B-Side: Jump (Loaded Version)

A-Side: Deep & Wide & Tall
B-Side: Bad Education
September 1987
UK Chart #79

Was reissued in October 1988 in 12", 10", 7", 3" CD versions and peaked at #55 in the charts.
On the 3" Mini CD Deep & Wide & Tall (Breakdown Mix) and More Than A Law were included. 
The 12" led with the Breakdown Mix on the A-Side and the normal single version and Bad Education on the B-Side.
The 10" included on the B-Side live versions of Working In A Goldmine and Somewhere In My Heart.

A1 How Men Are    
A2 The Red Flag    
B1 Killermont Street (Live)   
B2 Pillar To Post (Live)

January 1988
UK Chart #25

Tracks B1 and B2 recorded live in Los Angeles December 8, 1987.

(10" Picture Sleeve)

10" Tracklisting
A Somewhere In My Heart (The Alternate Mix)    
B1 Everybody Is A Number One (Boston '86 Version)    
B2 Down The Dip (Live)    
B3 Jump (Live)
April 1988
UK Chart #3


Down The Dip and Jump recorded live at Barrowlands Ballroom, Glasgow on Jan. 30th, 1988 by Radio Clyde's Mobile Two.

Also released on 7" - featuring only Somewhere In My Heart and Everybody is A Number One (Boston '86 Version) and 12" which was the same as the 10" except for a Remix of Somewhere In My Heart.

A-Side: Working In A Goldmine
B-Side: I Threw It All Away
July 1988
UK Chart #31

A-Side: The Crying Scene
B-Side: True Colours
June 1990
UK Chart #70

Also released as a 10" Limited Edition EP that included the tracks Salvation and I Threw It All Away (Live).

A Good Morning Britain (Remix)    
B Good Morning Britain (Live Glasgow Barrowlands 4th August 1990)

September 1990
UK Chart #19

CD Single version featured Consolation Prize (Live) with Roddy Frame & Edwyn Collins also recorded at the Barrowlands on 4th August 1990. Other tracks on it were Good Morning Britain (Mendelsohn Single Mix) and Good Morning Britain (Morning Acid Mix) as well as the live version.

The 12" featured three mixes of Good Morning Britain - Kitsch 'n' Sync Mix, Instrumental, and Vocal Remix.

 Spanish Horses / Just Like The USA (Live)
July 1982
UK Chart #52

B side recorded live from Sala Apollo Barcelona May 5th, 1992.

It was also released as CD Single in Two Parts containing:
1 Spanish Horses    
2 Birth Of The True (Live)    
3 Song For A Friend (Live)    
4 Killermont Street (Live)

1 Spanish Horses (Live)    
2 Stray (Live)
3 The Bugle Sounds Again (Live)    
4 Dolphins (Live)

Tracks 2, 3 & 4 on CD1 Performed Live At Ronnie Scott's Club June 23 1991 and all tracks on CD2 are from the same concert.

Also included on The Best of Aztec Camera is Roddy's first solo single Reason For Living. Aztec Camera had really been for a number of years just Roddy Frame so after six studio albums under that banner he launched out bearing his own name.

1 Reason For Living    
2 Winter Haven High    
3 Rainy Greys And Blues

 1 Reason For Living    
2 Biba Nova    
3 The Sea Is Wide


There has been a few Aztec Camera compilations over the years since their demise in 1995. I thought I would spotlight the main one released by their label WEA (Warners ESP).

Though technically Covers & Rare released in 1994 was really the first one. That one features a number of B-Sides, Remixes, and a few Cover Versions - the title is actually quite misleading I think.

In 2005 there was also Deep And Wide And Tall - The Platinum Collection, a 14 track affair that included a few singles, some album tracks and one single in particular that didn't make the WEA album: Still On Fire.

Then there was also Walk Out To Winter: The Best Of Aztec Camera released on Music Club Deluxe/Rhino in 2011. It was a kind of Mid-Price collection that was good but didn't run in chronological order and also includes 14 singles, various B-Sides a smattering of album tracks drawn from all five studio albums. This one is value for money at under £10.

The Best of Aztec Camera album released in 1998 drew the line under the life of the band as Roddy Frame had already begun charting his course using his own name rather reliance upon the band name. He's never really sought to escape his previous history with Aztec Camera as he regularly plays a number of songs in his live sets (and rightly so because they are great songs and surely not worth burying and forgotten about).

There's a few absences from the album when it comes to the singles, the two singles on Postcard Records: Just Like Gold (April 1981) and Mattress of Wire (May 1981. We Could Send Letters the B-Side is included but it is the album version rather than the Single version),  Still On Fire as I mentioned above already, and the US released EP title track Backwards and Forwards (10" EP Sire Records 1985 US Chart #181), Dreams Sweet Dreams (UK Chart - April 1993 #67) and the final Aztec Camera single Sun (1995).

Apart from that it's a great collection and reminder what a brilliant craftsman Roddy Frame is when it comes to writing pop songs.

I did see this album recently on Amazon for the crazy price of £60.90 (though you could get a used copy for under £7.50)! I'm guessing the reason for that is due to not being available for sometime now.

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!

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